- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - A state commission wants another round of pay raises for Georgia judges and district attorneys just a year after state lawmakers approved their last wage increase.

The commission - which has judges, attorneys and state officials among its members- recommended that base pay for Superior Court judges and district attorneys increase by nearly a third, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday (https://on-ajc.com/2gTng2r). State Supreme Court justices would see a 12.5 percent raise.

The recommendations would cost state taxpayers millions of dollars more not long after judges and prosecutors received their last pay increase. Raises approved by the Legislature in 2015 include base pay hikes of $12,000 for some judges.

However, the compensation commission’s latest proposal includes a recommendation to end so-called “local supplements.” That’s money that lawmakers and local officials often add to the base pay of individual judges and prosecutors in their home districts.

The commission report said such supplements are the reason why Superior Court judges in the Augusta area earn $207,000 a year, making them the highest-paid trial court judges in the U.S.

The commission’s latest recommendations for raises would boost pay for Georgia Supreme Court justices from roughly $175,000 to $200,000, with the chief justice receiving slightly more.

Superior Court judges would see their base pay jump from a maximum salary of $132,256 to as much as $175,000. Those who make more because of local supplements would keep their current salaries. District attorneys without supplements would get a pay increase from roughly $120,000 to up to $160,000.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, https://www.ajc.com

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